A safe and sane 4th

EDITOR: The safe and sane way to enjoy fireworks successfully took place in Petaluma on the 4th thanks to the new ownership group of five Sonoma County radio stations. On behalf of the City of Petaluma I wish to thank Lawrence Amaturo owner of Sonoma Media Group, Michael O'Shea the President of Sonoma Media Group as well as his entire team and their sponsors Henry Curtis Ford, Blake's Auto Body, and Vista Broadband Networks for saving this traditional celebration in Petaluma.

John Storch, who produces Petaluma's summer Movies in the Park Program, delivered an evening of Sonoma County musical favorites like Paulie's Garage and Blue Rock Country Club, who entertained the near-capacity crowd at the Petaluma Fairgrounds. A brief encore performance by Blue Rock Country Club allowed the large crowd to continue to come into the fairgrounds just before the skies were illuminated with a high-quality fireworks display culminating in a spectacular finale. The night was one of the best nights of celebration in Petaluma history.

Our city staff in this endeavor was led by Assistant City Manager Scott Brodhun and Jan Mandrell, who, along with Storch coordinated the pre-event requirements. It was, as always, a job well done.

I think it can safely be said that the success of this fourth ensures future success in what will prove to be a long and enjoyable partnership between the City of Petaluma, its residents and guests. Thank you Sonoma Media Group for keeping the tradition alive.

David Glass, Mayor, Petaluma

Celebrating the end of Prop. 8

EDITOR: As the pastor of United Church of Christ in Petaluma, I join with my congregation in celebrating the recent Supreme Court ruling on Prop 8. Our congregation has long stood for equal marriage rights and, as an open and affirming congregation, rejoiced in the gifts that our gay and lesbian members have brought to our church community.

We rejoice in a decision that continues a tradition in our country of moving toward greater justice and inclusion for all people, striving to extend the borders of those we understand to be part of the great "us," and we continue to call for full inclusion and protection for all those who experience systematic exclusion and inequality. Our commitment to this work arises from our faith in a God who is relentless in calling for justice and pleading the cause of love. I believe that the world is always served when people make the choice to covenant to loving commitment and responsive relationship.

As a pastor and wedding officiant, I am thrilled to be able now not just to offer my blessing to the ceremonies of same gender couples, but to participate in offering the same rights and responsibilities that I enjoyed in my marriage. I look forward to opening our beautiful sanctuary to celebrations of all marriages and to sharing my services with all couples who wish to celebrate and ask for blessing on the relationships God has given them.

Rev. Blythe Osner, United Church of Christ, Petaluma

Shelters for Pawnee fire evacuees

Lower Lake High School, 9430 Lake St., Lower Lake, is the official shelter established for people evacuating from the Pawnee fire. It is equipped to handle animals.

The Clearlake Oaks Moose Lodge, 15900 E. Highway 20, Clearlake Oaks, is not authorized by the Office of Emergency Services but is also sheltering fire evacuees, mostly people in campers and RVs who want their animals with them.

There is an authorized Lake County animal services station in an open field at Highway 53 and Anderson Ridge Road in Lower Lake.